One solution to Netflix’s Cannes-woes: buy cinemas
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One solution to Netflix’s Cannes-woes: buy cinemas

According to the Los Angeles Times, streaming video on demand (SVOD) market leader Netflix is considering purchasing its own series of movie theatres. The Post reported that Netflix had been in discussions with Landmark Theatres – but, citing a source familiar with the matter, the SVOD giant felt that the asking price was too high. Is this a canny way for Netflix to rejuvenate its troubled relationship with the world’s most prominent film festival? Earlier this year, Netflix pulled out of Cannes in protest of the fact that none of its movies – given that they do not get theatrical releases – would be eligible for awards.

So far this year, Netflix’s share price has risen by 71%

graph 2404 netflix


SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Netflix is eager to be seen as a legitimate filmmaker – and with successes like recent Natalie Portman vehicle Annihilation under its belt, that’s a hard fact to argue against. Nonetheless, Cannes won’t consider any film without a theatrical release for its awards.

This is a problem for Netflix: on the one hand, the prestige that accompanies awards like Cannes and The Oscars is a potent attraction for the best writers, directors, producers, and actors. On the other hand, their business model is based, in part, on the exclusivity of their original content on its current platform. Securing theatrical releases via the traditional means would entail holding off on releasing films on their streaming site, and sharing revenue with cinema owners.

If the Los Angeles Post is to be believed, Netflix might have a strategy in mind to circumvent these problems: buying its own network of cinemas. If it was in the driving seat, it could release big-budget movies in its cinemas and online platforms simultaneously, effectively killing two birds with one stone.


Dominion holds Netflix in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.

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